Seared Scallops with Wasabi-Daikon Relish

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    3 or 4

    as a Main Course

Appears in

This recipe may look like top-chef cuisine, but it is simple enough to prepare, especially since the relish can be made a few hours in advance. The secret to beautifully crusted scallops is a heavy cast-iron pan, oil hot enough to give an instant sear, and a cook who is patient enough to leave the scallops untouched for the few minutes it takes to brown them.

Ingredients

Relish

  • oz/70 g daikon radish, peeled and cut into ⅛-in/3-mm dice
  • 2 tbsp. finely minced shallot
  • tbsp Fresh Wasabi Paste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
  • ½ tsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
  • 12 to 16 large sea scallops, 1 to 1½ lb/455 to 680 g
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • Canola or other neutral oil for frying

Method

  1. To make the relish, in a medium bowl, stir together the daikon, shallot, wasabi, lime juice, oil, mirin, sugar, and salt, mixing gently. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Remove the small, tough connective tissue at the side of each scallop. Blot the scallops dry with paper towels. Just before searing the scallops, season them lightly with salt.
  3. When ready to sear the scallops, pour in just enough oil to film the bottom of a heavy 12-in/30.5-cm. frying pan, preferably cast iron. Place the pan over high heat and heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Carefully arrange the scallops in the pan so they aren’t touching. (You should have enough room to sear all of the scallops at one time.) Sear until a nice brown crust forms on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn them over, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook the scallops until they are lightly crusted brown on the bottom and just cooked through without being rubbery, about 2 minutes longer.
  4. Arrange two scallops on each warmed appetizer plate or four scallops on each warmed dinner plate. Top each scallop with a small spoonful of the relish and serve immediately.